A narration of a physical science teacher's experience of implementing a new curriculum
Le Grange, Lesley
de Mink, Karen Joy
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This article narrates the lived experiences of a Physical Science teacher named Thobani (pseudonym) in implementing a new curriculum in South Africa. Drawing on the work of Husserl and Heidegger, the article describes the objects of direct experience in Thobani's consciousness about his life as a learner and teacher as revealed during an in-depth semi-structured interview conducted from two perspectives. The genealogical part of the interview chronicled how his knowledge of Physical Science had unfolded in his life as a learner and subsequently as a teacher; the portraiture perspective recounted the often traumatic events of his personal life and the circumstances that had informed his decision to become a teacher. Theoretically, the findings reveal how an incompetent Physical Science teacher had hampered his understanding of the fundamentals of the subject, and how the lack of support from the Department of Education and his head of department had retarded the implementation process. The insights gleaned from this phenomenological investigation into the thought processes of a teacher introduced to a new curriculum could have potentially transformative effects for policy-makers, curriculum planners and teacher educators at a time when South African teachers are yet again faced with the implementation of a new curriculum.